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The First Sabbath

After six days, God’s creation of the heavens and the earth and all of their wonders was finished.

And He rested on the seventh day from all His work.
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,

for on this day God rested from all His work in the creation.
iBIBLE Chapter 1

 

Scripture reference: Genesis 2:1—3

Once the whole created universe was finally complete, God rested. The seventh day was then blessed and made holy, or “set apart” by God. This rest becomes the foundation of the Sabbath which is a theme and exhortation carried throughout Scripture.
 
This is not simply a one-time rest that the Creator alone partakes in. It is a pattern established for us at Creation. As image-bearers of God, we are called to emulate this beautiful rhythm of work and rest. 

In fact, it is the basis for one of the Ten Commandments:

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. — Exodus 20:8–10 [ESV]

God has established from the very beginning that, while work is good, rest is also necessary. He ordered creation in such a way that perpetual toiling is not healthy. If we were to work continually with no break, it would have a physical, mental, and emotional impact on us. By inviting us to rest, God underscores that we are more than what we do. We are made in His image, so we rest as He did.
 
As we see throughout Scripture, Jesus mirrors the work of the Father. Just as God the Father labored in creation and then rested on the last day, Jesus labored for our redemption, and then rested in the grave on the old covenant Sabbath. Jesus gives us rest through His atoning death and resurrection, and He invites all who follow Him to find rest for their souls:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. — Matthew 11:28–30

We do not need to work to receive Christ’s benefits. We find rest for our souls simply by placing our faith in Him.

Our Response

 

While work is indeed good, the work of your hands is not what defines you. You live by HIS grace, HIS story, and HIS redeeming love. The rest God calls you into fulfills and restores. Even when we have worked incredibly hard and there is work that remains undone, He invites us to accept His redeeming love.

This truth is all you need to claim when the voices of the enemy drift in with “one more thing” you need to do to be enough.

Have you taken time to prioritize rest in your own life? In the busyness of our daily routines, it can be difficult to stop. It can be difficult to make time for prayer, study of Scripture, and gathering with other brothers and sisters in Christ. 
 
Keep in mind this week that God’s invitation to rest is for you. You are not only allowed to rest without guilt, but you are also encouraged to rest by God Himself. Your productivity is not your identity, and your rest is honoring to the Lord who calls you to it.

Furthermore, the rest that God calls us to is a profound spiritual reality. Jesus has won for us salvation; we do not need to work to accomplish this by ourselves. This rest is also a picture of the eternal rest that we have won through Jesus Christ’s perfect life, death, rest in the tomb, and resurrection. Place your faith in the Lord, and He will save you. He will give you salvation, and He will give you eternal rest forever when He returns.

Your productivity is not your identity, and your rest is honoring to the Lord who calls you to it.

A Prayer for This Week

Lord of all Creation, we thank You for establishing a pattern for our lives that helps us and sustains us. Grant that we may rest well both physically and spiritually. Let us keep Your salvation ever before us in thankfulness, knowing that “Your yoke is easy, and Your burden is light.” And, if we struggle to rest, let us see this blessing as an invitation to be more like You since You rested on the seventh day. Bless us, Lord. In Jesus’s name, we prayAmen.

Creation Day 7

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